Major 17,000 homes plan for Warwick district is back on track

The Local Plan is back on track
The Local Plan is back on track

Plans to build thousands of new homes in Leamington and Warwick are finally back on track.

The major development plan, which now sets out 17,000 new homes by 2029, was suspended by Government inspectors last summer for failing to take on enough houses.

Some sites have been a worry but we are there now. While the examination will take a long time, we are optimistic the plan will be accepted.

Andrew Mobbs

Original plans set out 12,900 new homes - mainly in Leamington and Warwick - but it was criticised for not taking on enough homes, which set the process back by 12 months.

The Government has said this week that the latest draft plan can now be heard at public hearings after the council agreed to around 4,000 more new homes to help meet Coventry’s housing shortfall.

It also shows capacity for an extra 4,000 homes if they are needed - taking the build potential up to 21,000 houses.

Cllr Andrew Mobbs, Warwick District Council leader, said after a long and uncertain process over key housing sites, he is delighted.

“The initial plan was suspended as we had not taken into account extra growth from Coventry,” he said.

“But after modifying our numbers, the inspector has decided the inspection can start in September.

“This is the first time we have got to this stage and this is very good news.

“We are back on track and we need to get this plan in place as quickly as possible to protect ourselves from unwanted development.

“Some sites have been a worry but we are there now. While the examination will take a long time, we are optimistic it will be accepted.”

The Local Plan sets out accepted and unsuitable areas for housing and until it is agreed, provides no protection against development in unsuitable areas.

The Government planning inspector ruled that housing expectation must be met jointly with Coventry - which is why the district took on the city’s shortfall.

The inspection will start in September and assess everything from consultation responses, sites and housing numbers over three months.

If accepted, the plan could be passed by the spring 2017.

Public hearings will start on September 27.

The Government inspector will also hold a site-by-site discussion on the proposed housing.

Visit the council’s website for public hearing dates.